Monday, December 10, 2012

Samwise the Brave

            This speech by Samwise Gamgee is unique to the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers movie. It’s recognized as one of the most powerful speeches in the films and is a great example of how creative writing can vastly improve what is being said. It occurs when Frodo, under the dark influence of the ring, almost kills his best friend Sam. When Frodo realizes what he had almost done, he asks Sam why such bad fortune had befallen them. Sam’s response is this speech.
Sam’s speech, though relatively short, uses many creative devices. For example, in the third sentence we see an example of periphrasis. Same says, “By rights we shouldn’t even be here”, rather than simply “We shouldn’t be here”. This addition of phrases is part of Sam’s dialect and can be found throughout the books and movies. The unneeded addition of phrases like “by rights” is common in more rural folk which is exactly what group Sam belongs to. His strange way of talking is sharply contrasted against the back of the crumbling city of Osgiliath.
            Later we see anastrophe, when Sam says to Frodo “Full of darkness and danger, they were”. This odd arrangement of the sentence adds to Sam’s simpleton vibe. He uses the same device later in the speech when he says, “But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow”. We see in these examples that not only do they follow the spirit of Sam’s character, but they also function as artful literary techniques. In the second example the sentence is ordered in such a way that they emphasis is placed on the passing of the shadow. If it read, “But in the end, this shadow is only a passing thing”, more emphasis would be placed on the shadow, which is not what Sam’s is focusing on in this hopeful speech.
            Near the end, there is an example of conuplicatio. Same repeats the word “I” in the following set of phrases: “But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now”. This emphasis that Sam places on himself mixed with his humble character creates the feeling of self –discovery. If Sam was a more confident character, these lines would seem cocky because they state that he understands something that many do not. That not being the case, they set up a touching moment for the audience in which a humble person has a moment of strength in order to comfort his friend.
            The use of creative language in Sam’s speech is what makes it such an essential moment in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers movie. The script writers masterfully combined literary devices with Sam’s character to hit an emotional chord with viewers. The speech is one of many times in the movie trilogy that the English language is heard in its most beautiful form.

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